Dydd Gŵyl Dewi hapus! Yes, it’s St David’s Day, a national holiday (I wish) when we celebrate the patron saint of Wales, poets – and vegetarians. Yes, our Dave was a plant eater, would you believe. He also coined the phrase ‘gwnewch y pethau bychain’ or ‘do the little things’. in English. His last words were:
“Be joyful, and keep your faith and your creed. Do the little things that you have seen me do and heard about. I will walk the path that our fathers have trod before us.”
Wise words indeed and something I’ve taken quite literally this St David’s Day as I’m just too darn busy to bake Welsh cakes this week. Instead, I’ll be enjoying some sweet treats from Fabulous Welshcakes in Cardiff Bay. I’m not waxing lyrical when I say that they’re the best I’ve tried – but I’ve eaten a lot over the years and these are just delicious. Excitingly for me, they sell a vegan version and gluten free and diabetic versions are also available and you can buy these little beauties online, too.
If you have a bit more time on your hands, here’s a recipe for vegan Welsh cakes which I made last year.
440g (2 cups) self-raising flour
220g (1/2 cup) vegan margarine like Vitalite
130g (3/4 cup) caster sugar plus more sprinkling later
42g (1/4 cup) sultanas
42g 1/4 cup) raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
A splash of plant milk
A mixing bowl
A rolling pin
A large non-stick frying pan (if you have a griddle that would be perfect)
Cookie cutters (a cup or glass would do fine)
Measure all of your ingredients out and add them all to a large mixing bowl, except for the milk and fruit.
With your fingers, rub the mixture together until it becomes like breadcrumbs. It should be crumbly and even with no lumps of butter.
Add the dried fruit and mix it in.
Add a small dash of milk and mix it in with your hands. Add a tiny bit at a time until the crumble mix turns into a dry dough. It should be dry enough that it doesn’t stick to the bowl, but wet enough that it will stay in a ball.
Flour up your work surface and place the dough on it.
Flour up your rolling pin before rolling the dough until it is approx. 1cm thick. You don’t want them too thick or they won’t be cooked through.
Using your cookie cutter cut out your shapes. You should get about 18 good sized ones out of this dough.
Pre-heat your non-stick frying pan or griddle on a medium heat, don’t turn it up too high or the outside will cook too fast. If you don’t have a non-stick pan you can use a normal one, just remember to lightly grease it up first. You don’t want to fry them, we’re just heating them through.
Once they’re cooked they should be dry not greasy and firm not soft, and of course beautifully golden brown.
It will take 2-3 minutes either side for them to be golden brown and properly cooked. Once you’re done put them on a plate and sprinkle with caster sugar either side while they’re still hot so it sticks.